To be honest, while the mission is incredibly visually impressive it did not leave much of a lasting impression on me. The exhibits were a bit dull and dry.
So instead of boring you with the my trip report and the history of the Mission (cliffs notes version: built by Franciscan monks to convert the local indigineous populations), I’ll just be sharing some eye candy from my visit to the spectacularly beautiful mission in Santa Barbara, California and keeping my commentary to a minimum.
The small chapel within the mission is still used for services to this day. On the day I visited, it was silent and empty – which was the perfect time for me to look like a fool as I tried to prop my camera on a makeshift tripod (a church donation box) to capture this HDR image of the chapel.
Some graves in the cemetery were considerably older, while others had been buried within the last 10 or 15 years, proving that the mission isn’t just a museum or historical artifact, but a still very much a piece of the fabric of Santa Barbara.
Final Thoughts – The Old Mission Santa Barbara is a beautiful building and is certainly in much better condition than some California’s other crumbling missions, but overall it left me a little disappointed – it was not like the pleasant surprise at the Santa Barbara County Courthouse.
However, the mission’s influence on the region is undeniable. Santa Barbara owes its architectural heritage to this building as much of the city has since been built to emulate this style with white adobe and red tile roofs. This gives the entire town a unique look compared to many others along the California coast.
Is it worth visiting the mission? I think so, but perhaps my expectations were a bit too high on this one.
I’d love to know your thoughts on the photo essay. Do you have a favorite picture? Let me know in the comments.